This morning when I arrived at work the Trooper was already there. We were introduced, chatted a few minutes and when I headed out on my route a short while later he fell in right behind me. Today was Operation Safe Stop and he was following me to raise awareness about the dangers and fines associated with passing a stopped school bus. I didn't really expect anyone to pass my reds with a Trooper right there and no one did, but I'm am sure they noticed him!
From the Operation Safe Stop page:
- An estimated 50,000 motor vehicles illegally pass New York State school buses every day.
- Between the years 2002 through 2004, there were 69 students injured and one killed by motorists who passed stopped school buses.
What many motorists don't seem to know is that it is just as dangerous and illegal to pass a school bus with red lights flashing in a school yard. The Trooper had followed a different bus for the elementary route. After they arrived at school the Trooper left to go out on his regular patrol and sure enough, a parent dropping off a student drove through the red lights of the three special needs buses in the smaller bus loop! The license plate number was recorded and they will be sent what we call a nasty-gram. For them that is a lucky break. Had they received a ticket they would have faced a minimum of a $250 fine and 5 points on their license.
School buses are the safest way for students to travel but that will never stop us from trying to make the ride even safer!